Okay, I admit, I am a bit of a nerd. I don’t do pocket protectors, tape on glasses or plaid pants, so I am a cool nerd, but a nerd none the less. One of the ways that this nerdiness manifests itself is in my unabashed admiration of the LOTR trilogy. If you don’t see your favorite scene, I’m sorry…no, I’m not, it’s my list.
(Editor’s note: Author is probably a geek, not a nerd.)
10. Shelob’s Stalks and Stings Frodo (ROTK)
Couldn’t decide which one was more frightening, the sight (and thought) of a car sized spider appearing out of nowhere to chase you through his apartment sized web or a being silently stalked by said spider and then being impaled by his javelin of a stinger? You be the judge.
9. Legolas Acrobatic Horse Mount
Legolas firing on the Wargriders to his acrobatic mount on the horse (TTT) – I just got back from seeing “Cirque Du Soleil” and couldn’t help but think that Legs would put all of those guys to shame! First watching him pick of Orcs across a plain with his arrows behind those menacing trumpets is thrilling. And then watching him grab the horses bridle and flip on the horses back is just plain cool! More about this scene here.
8. Pippin Sings to Lord Denathor (ROTK)
The reason that this is here is the impact of contrast. Think “The Godfather”, “A Bronx Tale” and … “FaceOff”. Two movies that used a pleasant melody and sweet song/scene with a violent one. This makes the violence seem even more brutal. Pippin’s surprisingly sweet and plaintive song of sorrow is the perfect anti-compliment to the Faramir led battle.
7. Arwen Pursued by the Nazgul (FOTR)
This scene was the moment for me when she stopped being “Steven’s daughter” and became “Liv.” By the way, has there been a scarier group of undead guys in movie history?
6. Aragorn Returns (TTT)
Every action hero needs a signature scene and this is his. How cool did Viggo look when he pushed open those doors and silently announced his re-arrival? That one scene shot his street-cred through the stratosphere!
5. Eowyn Discovered on the Battlefield (ROTK)
This scene was an emotional wonder. The despair of a brother who has just discovered his sister seemingly dead on the battlefield (that look of horror on Eomer’s face is brilliant and hard to look away from), the sincere care of Aragorn to Eowyn (By the way, I want that ring!), the concern of her on looking brother and the burgeoning love between Faramir and Eowyn all held together by a haunting song by an ethereal singer. I have been looking for that song for forever and can’t find it! Can somebody help me out
4. Aragorn Honors the Hobbits (ROTK)
When the four bow to the newly crowned king, Aragorn stops them and stated “My friends, you bow to no one!” and leads the entire kingdom to bow to the four diminutive heroes. I defy you to watch this scene and not get choked up just a little.
3. Gollum/Smeagol’s Schizophrenic Conversation (TTT)
If a computer generated image could win an Oscar, Gollum (or Sméagol, if he suits you!) would have run away with it. With this scene, Peter King upped the ante as to what you can do in a movie with a computer (plus, the way it was filmed made you actually think it was two separate people. Sort of a Split Screen 2.0.), legitimized Andy Serkis’ inclusion in the trilogy and gave us another facet to an already fascinating character.
2. Gandalf Explains the “Afterlife” to Pippin (ROTK)
Watching what the great Ian McKellen did with the brilliant poetic lines of Tolkien, it is no wonder that Billy Boyd (Pippin) was transfixed and hanging on his every word. To look at Ian’s eyes, you saw that he was Gandalf, he had been to that “far green sunrise” and he could not wait to get back…*sigh!*…
1. Gandalf Fights the Balrog – Frodo’s Tearful Look (FOTR)
This scene was amazing on many different levels, but the most significant is what it did to the characters and how it foreshadowed the story lines. It polarized and solidified characters. It showed Gandalf making the ultimate sacrifice (can anyone say “Jesus figure”?), forced Aragorn into leadership (speaking of which, that look that he gives as he watched Gandalf fall in the crevasse is fantastic! You can literally see his switch go on. It is a crime that Viggo’s mantle is bare.), forced Legolas to deal with death and grief and shocked the Hobbits into the realization that outside of their idyllic world, there existed death, pain, sorrow and suffering and it could hit them personally. There was a great contrast near the end of that scene; Sam’s response to Aragorn versus Frodo’s. Sam was pulled to his feet by Aragorn and stood firm despite his grief, Frodo fled, and in the process gave us one of the most poignant moments in movie history. This contrast would be played out brilliantly in the rest of the trilogy.
Written by Jonathan Hopkins